A salute to progress: the Heidelberg Laureate Forum celebrates its fifth event this weekend

Once again, the weeklong networking conference in Germany brings the brightest minds in mathematics and computer science together.

From September 24–29, Heidelberg will be home to the densest population of the laureates of mathematics and computer science: recipients of the Abel Prize, ACM A.M. Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing, Fields Medal and the Nevanlinna Prize. This year at the 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), 26 laureates will extensively exchange ideas and discuss research with 200 of the most talented young researchers in these disciplines from all over the world. With a balanced format of scientific and social events, participants have the opportunity to examine other perspectives and gain insights that were previously obscure. The program is even more robust than in years past and has been expanded to include sessions new to the HLF.

Scientific interaction is a keystone in the bedrock that progress builds on and is the foundation of the HLF. What distinguishes the HLF from traditional conferences is the unique atmosphere that inspires a blend of acute discussions and informal interactions among the participants. Lectures, workshops and panel discussions embolden scientifically driven debate, while various social events encourage the participants to pursue their discourse outside the lecture halls and to get to know each other. This year, the scientific program concludes with “Research in Industry,” a two-part session at SAP where young researchers learn how to bridge research and industry innovation.

Ingrained once again is the Lindau Lecture, held this year by Aaron Ciechanover, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2004 together with Avram Hershko and Irwin Rose “for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation.” Anticipation is building around Ciechanover’s lecture, “The Personalized Medicine Revolution: Are We Going to Cure all Diseases and at What Price?”

Quantum computing is the Hot Topic in 2017 and consist of lectures from leading researchers in the field from various backgrounds: theorists tackling the fundamental principles of quantum computing and algorithmic development, and experimental physicists and engineers who work to implement these ideas. The panelists will debate which expectations are realistic for quantum computers in the near future, what major obstacles still stand in the way – and where the opportunities lie for young researchers looking for ways into this exciting field. More details about the panelists and session can be found here.

Though the HLF is invitation-only event, there will be a collection of fascinating artwork on display and open to the public. “Math <=> Art” is an exhibition of the late Aldo Spizzichino’s work, who used his passion for programming to ‘paint’ stunning images using vector graphics and superimposing them on one another. By developing the algorithms and programs himself, Spizzichino was able to be the vessel for a much more distilled connection between mathematics and art. The exhibition is free of charge and will run from September 23–28 (opening hours 8:30–19:00). “Math <=> Art” will be located in the Alte Universität building of Heidelberg University, Grabengasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg.

All laureate lectures and panel discussion will be available via the video archive or on the HLF YouTube channel during and following the 5th HLF.


Photos are available here for download.


The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) annually organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. The 5th Heidelberg Laureate Forum will take place from September 24–29, 2017. The HLFF was established and is funded by the German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The Scientific Partners of the HLFF are the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University. The HLF is strongly supported by the award-granting institutions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the International Mathematical Union (IMU), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA).

[Press Release]